Thousands of Muslims in Saskatchewan are preparing to mark the start of Ramadan — an intense month of fasting from dawn to dusk.
On Saturday, more than 100 community leaders from around the city, including church dignitaries and politicians, came to a pre-Ramadan luncheon at the RCMP Heritage Centre to learn what this sacred month is all about.
“People are nervous about asking questions,” explained Sabreena Haque, a Muslim woman and member of the Regina chapter of the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan, which organized the event.
“It’s good to just come forward and just explain to people. Once you start talking, then people start asking questions.”
She explained the event is meant to create a bridge between communities.
“It’s a great opportunity to let others know who we are, why do we do this every year and what effect it has, and the generosity that we do,” said Faisal Khan, president of the association’s Regina chapter. “We call this home now, just as you do and it’s a great place to be.”
He explained that Ramadan allows Muslims to better understand the pain felt by the impoverished.
“It gets us, first of all, understanding of what poor people go through and it helps us become more compassionate with them and it just generally results in a lot of generosity,” explained Khan.
Haque describes it as a type of spiritual training, where charity is emphasized.
Ramadan ends with Eid al-Fitr, a major Islamic holiday. It begins with a prayer, then a celebratory feast.
This year’s celebration is taking place at the old Mosaic Stadium, said Khan.
“This is going to be one grand event for the Muslim community,” he said.